What a difference a good rumor makes.
Both The Wall Street Journal and Marketwatch are reporting that John Malone’s Liberty Media has asked the Justice Department for permission to buy a larger piece of iHeartMedia.
That alone ignited iHeart shares on Friday, with more than 1 million shares traded on average volume of 330,140 by Noon ET.
As of 12:06pm ET, IHRT was priced at $16.10, up 10.6% from Thursday’s close and at a price last seen in mid-July.
At the Closing Bell, IHRT finished the day up 7.4%, to $15.64, on exceptional volume of 1.83 million shares.
As reported by Streamline Publishing’s Radio Ink, Liberty now owns 4.8% of iHeart through Liberty SiriusXM.
The reports state that the new deal could give Liberty control or outright ownership of iHeart.
Liberty acquired its stake in the broadcaster via debt before the company restructured.
As of September 29, some 77.5% of iHeart shares are held by Allianz Asset Management GmbH of Germany.
Franklin Resources holds 13.5% of IHRT.